Dear Oscar

Dear Oscar: 18 Months Old

I’ve not written a Dear Oscar update in a long time. In fact, the last one I actually finished and published was his 13 month update and as you can see, that was a long time ago. Admittedly I am annoyed that I didn’t keep up with them, but then I did neglect my blog for ages too. Woopsie.

Oscar is now 18 months old. This fact in itself blows me away multiple times a day because I simply can’t accept or understand how time is flying by so quickly. My baby is turning into a proper toddler and it makes me so sad (but equally very proud at the same time). Enough of the mum emotions, on to the update…

Weight: For anyone that has read any of these updates before, you’ll know I’ve been terrible at taking him to the clinic and actually haven’t had him weighed there since he was 10 months old. Uh oh, bad mum alert. I do weigh him at home now on our scales so I know where he is at. Currently he’s weighing in at 23lbs.

Height: I did actually measure Oscar’s height for the first time in months and months the other day, but I can’t remember the exact number. It was either 81, 82 or 83cm but that’s pretty much the same thing, right?!

Things Oscar Can Do

  • T A L K. We have got a chatterbox child! Ok, most of the time we have no idea what he is actually saying because there’s a lot of baby chatter going on, but he seems to have full on conversations with his toys. His vocabulary is expanding so quickly, it’s bloody amazing. The words/phrases he can currently say are: cat, dog, woof woof, car, bus, popcorn, gone, all gone, mama, dada, granddad, garden, wow, oh, no, shoes, cot, door, what’s that. I think that’s all but I may have missed a couple!
  • Point to his eyes, mouth, nose and hair. We’re working on ears, but he hasn’t grasped that one yet. He can also point out all of the above on his mini Iggle Piggle.
  • Put Duplo together…..when it suits him, of course! The rest of the time it’s “MAMA MAMA” or “DADA DADA” when he wants us to fix it for him.
  • Climb. A lot. Yep, we definitely have a daredevil on our hands. Oscar is not afraid of anything and will climb all over the place at the park whilst I spend the whole time panicking. MUM LIFE!!
  • Follow instructions e.g. “Oscar, please can you put your car in the toy box…” and answer questions “Oscar, would you like some milk?” *nods* or he says “mmmmm” and nods at the same time which is adorable and hilarious.

Oscar’s Favourite Things

  • In The Night Garden. He is obsessed with HANDS DOWN the weirdest, most bizarre programme there is on Cbeebies. Jake and I can never work out what is actually going on or who is what etc. but then we are old. Somehow, and I have no idea how unless he has his very own baby watch, he knows when it’s almost time for it to start and he’ll point and shout “GARDEN” at the telly.
  • Duplo. I’ve not seen him play with anything else but Duplo for a long while (except the Happyland bus he has). This all started on our recent holiday (blog post to come) when my parents bought him a little Duplo bus. He’s obsessed with it. Mummy and daddy aren’t so keen because it’s not a very reliable bus and always falls apart!
  • As mentioned a few times, buses! We went on numerous bus rides on our holiday and ever since he has been obsessed. I’ll be driving along and all of a sudden I hear him scream “BUUUUUUUS” and he’ll point them out on TV too.
  • Running like a Twirlywoo. Yep, my child is basically one of them. It’s adorable – he runs as fast as he can with his arms straight out behind his back! When he first did it I was a bit confused then Jake said “isn’t that how the Twirlywoo’s run?” yep and yep. The things they pick up, eh?

Oscar Hates

  • His high chair. We’ve fully retired it now because he just screams if we make him go anywhere near it. We are now onto the big boys table and chair.
  • The hoover is still his least favourite thing ever. STILL? To be fair to him, I was scared of the hoover until I was about 11 so I’ll let that one slide. Ahem. Ok, but in my defence my brother did once tell me it’d suck me up so I spent all my time bundled up on the sofa. Brothers are mean!
  • When In The Night Garden finishes. This really speaks for itself!

Note that bedtime isn’t on the list?! What a breakthrough. Oscar now actually asks to go to bed (not in so many words, rather, he takes one of our hands and leads us into the bedroom) So adorable.

Mummy’s Thoughts

In the last few months the change in Oscar has been huge – he has gone from a tiny, baby-faced little bubba to a grown up little brainbox toddler (I feel like I’m writing a school report a little bit at the moment!) I know I am biased because I am his mummy, but he really amazes us all and I genuinely can’t believe how clever he is. We quite often just say “How do you know that? You’re 18 months old, not 5!” but then he is our first baby so we’re not always entirely sure what to expect.

He is our little treasure!

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Parenting

Days Out ♥ Runnymede Pleasure Grounds

I was born and raised in Berkshire in the South-East of England so I have visited lots of fun places whilst growing up. It is so lovely to be able to take Oscar to all the places I loved as a child and also creating new adventures in places I hadn’t even heard of. It’s even nicer to see that they haven’t been knocked down or completely changed.

One of my favourites as a child was Runnymede Pleasure Grounds. My Grandma used to take me and my brother quite a lot as she lives in Kingston – it was always the drop off/pick up location when we used to go and stay with her as it was about half way. It’s situated near Egham in Surrey (near to Burger King…very important!) and although the car parking is expensive (£1.50 an hour) you don’t actually have to pay to get in. If you’ve got a National Trust Membership, which I now do (I’m officially old!) then you can park for free up the road.

The grounds itself is right on the River Thames so plenty of boats to watch and you get a nice view of the planes taking off from Heathrow. My little boy is obsessed with anything that moves, pointing and shouting “carrrrrr” at the top of his voice so this is a huge win. The only negative is that you have to watch the kids like a hawk because you can literally walk straight into the river…not ideal. What I mean by that is, there are no fences.

I went there with my friend and her little boy who is 2 months older than Oscar and there was definitely plenty to do. At the entrance there is a little café which serves hot food (fish and chips too I think), cold food, drink and most importantly, ice cream. There is a play park but I’d say it’s not really suited to little ones as the climbing frames are really tall and even the ‘baby’ one didn’t have any steps. If you don’t mind lifting your child up to go down the slide every 2 minutes then I guess that’s fine!

The best and most exciting part though is the mini pool they have there – it’s knee deep so very suitable for kids of any age. Oscar and his little friend loved it, although they were more interested in opening and closing the gate. Maybe we’ll take them back when they’re a bit older and understand the fun they are missing out on. Oh and definitely take spare clothes for them…..and you! I got soaked, but thankfully it was nice and hot so I dried off quickly.

There is also a bouncy castle and some little amusement rides for the summer months so lots to do for all ages. We enjoyed a picnic on the huge grass area as well before exploring the area and having fun in the pool.

The area itself is lovely. It’s right next to the site of the Magna Carta and there are lots of walks up to the memorials – we’re saving those for a cooler day because walking in this heat is no fun.

We had such a lovely day and can’t back to go back again very soon!

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Blogging

New Blog. New Style. New Approach.

It’s been a long old while since I picked up my laptop and logged into my blog to write a post. I felt demotivated and disinterested in the whole blogging thing – I felt like everyone was just competing to be best, blabbing on about how well they were doing and publishing their view counts and earnings on a monthly basis. That just isn’t something I am interested in nor can I compete with that. It’s tough when you work really hard on posts and nobody really reads them but then I guess I am doing this for myself. Lots of the things I write about are memories that I want to have written down to look back on. A few of my friends have said “you need to get back to your blog” or “I miss reading your blog posts” so here I am. It is fun, I do enjoy it and it’s nice to have a hobby aside from cleaning smelly nappies, wiping down every surface 20 times a day and chasing round an energetic toddler.

I felt like I was trapped in this “parenting blog” craze but that isn’t necessarily where I want to be. I don’t want to be labelled anything – only ‘blogger’ if people feel the need. I love the name of my blog It’s A Mummy & Baby Life and thankfully it does leave me open to writing about whatever I fancy. So that is exactly what I plan to do: let my brain do the speaking and my hands do the typing without thinking too much about fitting into a group.

Another thing I was doing was forcing myself to write to a strict schedule, so that I had a constant stream of posts going up but actually, that massively reduced my blog quality. I was too concerned about getting posts up rather than focussing on what I wanted to write about and when I wanted to write it. Therefore, there will no longer be a schedule. I’ll write and post whenever I have time and whenever I have something that I want to write about. No pressure!

The sad bit about not blogging has meant that I’ve not written a ‘Dear Oscar’ update in so long (since he was 13 or 14 months old I think) so those are now missing. There is no way I can remember what he was doing in each of those months either so I guess I’ll just have to start again from his 18 month update. Yep, he is 18 months old on Friday…..crazy. I can’t believe it either.

It’s nice to be back on the blog scene and I’m looking forward to getting new posts out in my new style on my ‘new’ blog (if you like). For anyone reading this, thanks for sticking around and hopefully I’ll engage a few new readers too.

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Food & Fitness

Food & Fitness: An Update

Food & Fitness: An Update

Food & Fitness: An Update

As you may have seen I posted a couple of weeks back about starting to eat better and exercise more in order to live a healthier lifestyle. I was supposed to be writing weekly updates to how I was getting on, but clearly I failed at the first hurdle. Contrary to the fact I didn’t write an update, I did actually have a very good first week. I ate well, based most of my choices on the Slimming World plan and I got myself out and about for exercise. I went for walks almost every day of the week and started the C25K plan. Consequently, I lost just over 3lbs.

So, what went wrong? 

I went for my week 1, day 3 couch to 5k run at the beginning of the second week and ever since then I have been in horrendous pain with my knees. I have absolutely no idea why because the run itself felt GREAT. It was only when I got home, sat down, and tried to stand up again and realised I could barely walk that it hit me I must have somehow done some damage. I’m not actually entirely sure what I’ve done – I just have a lot of pain in the inside front of my knees. Very odd.

Anyway, this knocked me for six. I wasn’t going out for walks because I was in pain and being stuck indoors made me revert back to my old habits of eating my feelings. I was annoyed that I couldn’t carry on walking or running at that time, so I ate instead. Logic?!

I’m currently sat writing this whilst eating a bowl of strawberries and blueberries with yoghurt so you could say I’m back on track. Even if I can’t exercise the way I would like to, I can at least eat better and focus on losing some weight to start with. I think I’ll need to look up some muscle strengthening exercises to do for a few weeks and then I might try and get back into the running again if I have seen an improvement in my knees. If not, well, then I’ll probably have to do an exercise plan or DVD instead from home. For now I just need to start slowly and work my way up.

The worst part is that I know I can easily lose weight if I put my mind to it. I’ve done it before and I can do it again so it’s frustrating when I end up giving up so quickly. I’ve got my food loosely planned for the week (i.e. I can swap between the days but I can’t add in a load of chocolate and crisps, ha!) so that’s a good start. I did a nice healthy food shop yesterday too so we’re stocked up on fruit and vegetables for the foreseeable future…woohoo!

I’m calling this my new week 1. The Fitbit is back on and I’m ready to go.

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Parenting

My Missing Puzzle Piece

My Missing Puzzle Piece

My Missing Puzzle Piece

Gazing out of the window, Oscar in my arms, spotting all of the cars and trains going past this evening gave me a bit of time to reflect. Time that I don’t usually have.

That little boy amazes me every single day and I am thoroughly enjoying watching his little personality grow as he turns into a little boy. We get laughter, cheekiness, grumpiness and the occasional mini tantrum and whilst he isn’t always certain how he feels, I know for certain how I feel.

I feel fulfilled.

This tiny human enriches my life and teaches me things I didn’t even know about myself. Someone so small is a companion, he keeps me company, he really distracts me from the anxieties I sometimes feel. A brief cuddle as he makes his way from one bit of mischief to the next is all it takes. Those few moments of having him snuggle in tight, as if to say “I love you mummy, I’m just reminding you of that” without the words he cannot yet say.

A little chuckle here and there when mummy does something silly, or the kisses I didn’t even ask for – it’s precious moments like that, small things, that slot together like a puzzle, completing me one piece at a time. It sounds really cliché, but it’s the only way I can describe how it feels.

Before I had Oscar, I was almost certain that I felt like there was something missing from my life. I had a lovely partner, a well paid job and my own car but it didn’t quite all add up to what I expected to feel when I had “everything”. That is, until I realised that I didn’t have everything.

I didn’t have that small companion by my side every day and I didn’t have that constant unconditional love. There was a gap in my life and it needed filling. I didn’t realise what that empty gap was until I look back now. I felt like I needed more from my life and I wasn’t prepared to wait for it either. The day we decided that we’d quite like to have a baby, was the exact day I started to fill that empty slot.

My missing puzzle piece.

We’re a little family now, just the 3 of us. Our tiny little puzzle, one that is so enriching, is complete. My little boy and my big boy fulfil my life enough that I don’t feel empty anymore. I don’t have a longing for something else nor do I have to seek out what that missing link is.

I’m a mum now, a parent. Our greatest decision yet.

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Parenting

Caesarean Awareness Month

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Caesarean Awareness Month

Before I start, I just want to say that everything I am about to say is how I feel and not a representation of all people who give birth via C-Section. 

It is currently Caesarean Awareness Month and having personally been through a section, it is only fitting that I write a post. I love that there is an entire month of awareness for something that isn’t necessarily always discussed that openly.

Oscar was born via emergency caesarean after 3 days in labour and no sign of any progress. His heart rate was consistently dipping and after a failed attempt at breaking my waters, I was rushed to theatre to get him out. I’ve written all about my whole birth experience on my blog so check it out if you want to see what went on.

I went into hospital to be induced with no intention of having a C-Section. It didn’t really ever cross my mind. At the NHS antenatal classes, the topic was merely skimmed over and the focus was all on having a vaginal birth. I went through having a section with no real understanding of the procedure and no expectations of ever having one and I really wish that more had been said about it. It’s almost as though it was swept under the carpet as though it never actually happens. In my eyes, that is wrong.

Unfortunately since having my section I have been left feeling as though I didn’t really give birth and like I missed out, or was robbed of an experience I assumed I would have. Of course, the end result is that my baby was born safely and healthy, but that doesn’t take away from the strange feeling I feel when I think about my experience. I didn’t have that vaginal birth and I didn’t experience all the feelings that I thought I would. In fact, truth be told, my labour was all very weird and it definitely wasn’t right, that’s for sure.

The section itself was awful. As it was an emergency, everything is very rushed and I felt very apprehensive throughout. Being wheeled into the white theatre room was a moment I’ll never forget. It felt wrong. It felt as though everything was falling apart. It was not what I imagined. The spinal block left me shaking for hours. All I remember from theatre is asking the anaesthetist the weirdest   questions, having an oxygen mask placed on me, the heavy feeling on my chest and tugging when the surgeons were taking Oscar out and when they pulled the sheet down and all I saw was a massive tub of my own blood. Not ideal.

Thankfully, the best moment ever was when my gorgeous little boy was held over me so that I could see him. I’ll forever be thankful that I can remember that moment because quite a lot of the rest of the 3 days is such a blur to me. I wish I could document it fully but really, I can’t. There’s so much I don’t remember and I hate that. I didn’t get to cuddle my little boy straight away and by the time I was back in the recovery room, he was almost an hour old.

Caesarean

It was 2 weeks afterwards that my scar started to swell up and I was in so much pain. I assumed it was normal. We called 111 and I was advised to go to the emergency clinic straight away. Little did I know, I actually had a severe scar infection that needed treating with the strongest IV antibiotics available. I was stuck in hospital on this drip for 5 days. I hardly got to see my little boy and it was honestly the hardest thing I have ever been through. My blood results were really bad – I had septicaemia from the infection and my skin started to turn yellow. I was very lucky that I went into hospital when I did otherwise I would have become very poorly, very quickly. My wound had to be reopened (with surgical scissors) whilst I was wide awake so that they could take a swab. I was then given a vacuum pack dressing to wear for a whole week – it’s a little box attached to a tube which pulls the moisture out of the wound and really helps it to heal quickly.

Caesarean
Look at the colour of my skin!

Caesarean
Finally on the mend!
It was an event that I wouldn’t like to go through again and honestly, it has really put me off having any more kids (I’ll save that for another blog post though. It could get deep!) It is a memory that I look back on with such fear and not the happy memories I should have of those days.

It’s hard. It really is. It still affects me now. I can be fine for days, weeks, months but then suddenly it all comes back to me and it’s like I’m reliving the experience in my head. I honestly can’t believe what I went through and it’s hard to get over. It’s hard to forget and I think it will take me a lot of years before I can properly come to terms with it all.

For now, I hope that Caesarean Sections are given more awareness. There’s too much sugar-coating and not enough teaching of the things that can happen. Vaginal deliveries being referred to as ‘normal’ needs to stop because every delivery is normal! Imagine how it feels to go through something like I did and then to be told your birth wasn’t normal. Don’t you think I know that? It wasn’t like I chose it and I didn’t ever want it to happen but it did. I had the easy option did I? Wrong. I honestly thought I was going to die with my infection. How, in any way, is that easy?

There needs to be more understanding of it all for everyone so spreading as much awareness throughout April, and every other month, is what is needed.

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Dear Oscar

Dear Oscar: 13 Months Old

Dear Oscar: 13 Months Old

Dear Oscar: 13 Months Old

Oscar is now 13 months old! I need to get my bum back into action with Oscar’s monthly updates as I have started to lag behind a lot with them. I want to carry on doing them so I have everything to look back on.

Weight: *bad mum alert* I still haven’t got Oscar weighed again since his review. I dread taking him and putting him on those cold, cold scales knowing that he is going to wriggle and probably scream the place down. I might go next Friday when my partner is off for moral support!

Things Oscar Can Do:

  • Now that Oscar is getting much more confident on his feet, he is now almost starting to run. Sometimes he gets a bit carried away and falls over but he’s really trying. It does mean he is much harder to keep up with these days though!
  • Aside from the ‘cat’ and ‘fish’ repetitions we get, he now also says ‘Guh’ which means gone. It’s so adorable as he says it every single time he finishes a meal or if something is empty (oh, or if the ‘cat’ goes out into the garden.
  • Throw a little bit of a strop if he doesn’t get his own way. Thankfully it isn’t quite a tantrum, but I can definitely tell when he gets annoyed and wants something else to happen. Usually the situation is resolved pretty quickly and all is well in his little world again.
  • Get his shoes when we are going out. This is a very new thing he has started doing over the last few days. When I start to get my shoes on he plods down the corridor to pick his shoes up and even attempts to put them on his feet!
  • Wave bye-bye when you put your coat on or when Daddy gets out of the car to go into work. *heart melts*

Oscar’s Favourite Things:

  • Oscar’s Granny & Grandad bought him a baby shopping trolley and he just will not leave it alone. He pushes it all over the flat and collects items up in it. I am yet to be brave enough to venture out to the shops with him pushing it – I dread to think what we would end up buying!
  • Playing with his toys. He shows such an interest and will sit and play in his own little bubble for ages. I do always wonder what is going through his mind but obviously he is having lots of fun.
  • Meal time! If I say ‘lunch’ or ‘dinner’ he comes running over from wherever he is ready to get in his high chair. What an obedient little boy I have 😉
  • Bath time with daddy!

Oscar Hates:

  • The hoover, still. I think this will be an ongoing one. As soon as it goes on he runs up to me and screeches out for a cuddle. The maintenance guy was hoovering outside on the stairs yesterday and he ran to me for a hug.

Mummy’s Thoughts:

I was very sad taking Oscar for his 3 nasty jabs the other day, although he was a very brave little boy. I am so glad that he doesn’t have to have anymore until he is at least 3 (pre-school).

Oscar goes to bed at around 7pm every night and will sleep through (most nights) until 7 or 7.30. I don’t usually document this because I don’t want to jynx it but he has been doing this for a long time so hoping he is in a nice routine now.

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Blogging

Happy 1st Blogiversary To Me!

My Little Blog Is (1)

Happy 1st Blogiversary To Me!

It’s my 1st blogiversary!

It has been one year since I put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and joined the blogosphere and put my first post out there. It is weird to look back on that time as I was so worried that my writing was awful, or no one would read my posts or that I just wouldn’t enjoy it after a while.

I’m so happy that hasn’t exactly been the case. I have been told that my writing is good and people do actually read my posts, albeit a very small audience. But then an audience is an audience, right? Considering I started blogging for myself and still blog just for me (and a couple of friends who love to read my posts) it’s great that other people take the time to visit and read my rants.

One year on and I’m still going. I think I’m settling down more and feel less concerned about what people will think or whether my posts are interesting or not. I really enjoy writing them, so what does it matter really if no one enjoys reading them? A hobby is time spent doing something you love and I do just that.

I have also recently started up a YouTube channel in the same name as my blog, so I’m hoping to grow both at the same time (keep your eyes peeled for details!)

I was never in this blogging thing for money and still don’t ever expect that I will be. It’s not about that though, that’s really just a nice-to-have. It’s about having a place where I can be myself, say what I think and document our life as a family of 3 so that we have lots of memories to look back on.

On that note…

Happy 1st Blogiversary To Me! 🙂

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Food & Fitness

Food & Fitness: Time To Change

Food & Fitness: Time To Change

Food & Fitness: Time To Change

I have decided that I can’t keep going on like this. I can’t keep eating and eating and lazing around, not doing any exercise. I can’t carry on stuffing food into my mouth when I don’t even need to eat. Half the time I’m not even hungry. This has to stop.

I am making a good attempt to change my lifestyle. I need to lose weight as I’ve hovered around at my current weight ever since I had Oscar. Most importantly, I need to get fit. I am so unfit that walking up two flights of stairs is a struggle for me.

So what can I do change my ways? I guess it will take a lot of hard work and determination and not just giving up when I think I can’t do it. I think I read somewhere it takes at least 4 weeks to make something a habit so I’ve got to stick to it, then it won’t feel so bad.

Food: I’m changing what I eat.

Substituting multiple bags of crisps and chocolate bars for fruit and vegetables. Chips and frozen foods for rice and pasta. Fatty foods for low fat, healthy snacks.

Fitness: I’m going to get active.

I want to be doing at least 10,000 steps each day and walking 3 times a week. Alongside this I am going to start Couch 2 5K again as I want to really build my fitness.

This needs to be a whole lifestyle change and not just a week of “diet” which goes down the pan because I just can’t stick to it. I’ll still have the foods I love the most, just less often. Maybe then I’ll actually enjoy them more rather than eating them for the sake of it?

I’ve seen so many people change their lives and lose weight plus gain fitness and there is no reason why I can’t do it either.

I’ve got a sunny holiday abroad to go on in September and I don’t want to look like a beached whale and I would absolutely love to wear a bikini without feeling super self-conscious.

As cringe as it is, it’s time to make a change and do what’s best for my body!

In order to track my fitness and weight loss journey I plan to write a weekly blog post of what I ate that week, what exercise I did (plus how many steps I clocked up on my fitbit) and my weight loss (or gain). This, alongside posting my meals to my fitness instagram, will hopefully keep me motivated to continue.

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YouTube

I’m A YouTuber!

It is official.

I am a YouTuber.

Well, sort of.

I’ve set up a channel and I have also uploaded my first video. How crazy exciting is that?

Now, I must admit that it felt very awkward to film and I felt very silly speaking to myself. I’m sure this is something I will get used to after a few videos and I’ll no longer feel like a plonker every time I turn the camera on. It also wasn’t ideal filming on my iPhone so I’m hoping to test out filming on my Samsung Galaxy camera. It’s really good, but very slow so I’m not sure if that’s going to annoy me too much. Ideally I would like a PROPER camera, but that’s not going to happen just yet.

If you fancy subscribing to my channel in advance of my second video then please do and if you haven’t already watched it, here is my first video *gulps*

I absolutely love watching other mummies & daddies on YouTube, so leave your channels links in the comments and I’ll come over and have a look!

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